It’s been a very strange 2020 season of baseball, to say the least. A shortened season meant there was more pressure on the players. Along with no minor league season, players that were in the minors, were either out of a job, or had to find a way to get playing time.
Losing Yasmani Grandal took a huge hit on the Brewers. Now it was time to find someone who would play everyday catcher with Manny Pina. Acquiring Omar Narvaez proved to be somewhat successful, but he wasn’t matching Yasmani Grandal’s offensive numbers. The Brewers also had David Freitas as another option, but one that shined at the end of the day? Jacob Nottingham.
Nottingham had his spurts with major league time, but for the majority of his career with the crew, he’s spent it in the minor leagues. It was lackluster, to put it into nicest terms but overtime, Nottingham has proved to be a tremendous force on the roster.
Season Grade: B+
Nottingham played in 20 games with 54 plate appearances. In that, he drove in 13, walked five times, and hit four home runs, one of those being a grand slam. He was hitting a slash line of .188/.278/.458/.736.
His biggest contribution? Defense. The 25-year-old ranks within the 91st percentile when it comes to pitch framing. For a rookie, that’s pretty impressive. Pitchers seemed to look more comfortable on the mound if Jacob Nottingham was the one helping catch the calls. He’s got a strong throwing arm with a caught stealing percentage of 29, which might not look too impressive compared to other catchers in the league, but Nottingham hasn’t had nearly as much playing time as veteran catchers.
Offensively, the man has done some damage at the plate. He’s making solid contact with the ball and has a 19 percent barrel percentage on his season. He does have a high strikeout percentage (33%) which does tear down the offensive performance a little bit; but when you look at his minor league stats, it’s pretty much equal to his time in the big leagues.
Going into 2021, I believe that Nottingham has really solidified his place on the 40-man roster. It’ll be interesting to see what the Brewers do with Manny Pina as he enters his final year of arbitration. With Omar Narvaez still on the roster as well, it’s very unlikely for the Brewers to have two right-handers and a lefty on their list. Though Nottingham did help in some clutch moments, especially being behind the plate when Corbin Burnes was on the mound; I think the Brewers would be a rocket power team in 2021 if they had Nottingham on the roster.
Other Brewers’ 2020 Report Cards:
- Jedd Gyorko
- Devin Williams
- Keston Hiura
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